Thursday, November 17, 2022

Disturbing News

I received a rather alarming email yesterday from my regular veterinary hospital. Under the guise of ‘exciting news’, it described how the hospital’s veterinary technicians will now be performing many of the tasks which were formerly performed by veterinarians.

When one takes a pet to the hospital now, he will be seen by a vet tech. This will be for any procedure, complaint or concern. He will examined by a vet tech, instead of a veterinarian, and the vet tech will then determine if there is a medical issue and prescribe treatment, including medicine. The care of one’s pet, including those in critical conditions, in life and death situations, will now be in the hands of people who are not trained to give it.

The email stated that the vet techs will have received five days of ‘intensive’ training for this new role. This will, in the minds of those who conceived this new policy, be sufficient to equal the four years of schooling (and subsequent experience) that a veterinarian is given. Personally, I don’t think that any amount of time at night-school or any number of videos watched on YouTube is going to qualify a vet tech to do what a veterinarian must.

Furthermore, to see a real veterinarian will require a ‘follow-up’ visit, with its additional cost. In other words, to have one’s pet viewed by someone with actual training in veterinary medicine will now cost double what it did, not including the time required in waiting for a second appointment, if indeed one can get a second appointment within any reasonable period.

It may be guessed that I am displeased with this regression in animal health care. A vet tech is qualified for many things, but not for being a veterinarian. The hospital in question was not so long ago bought by a big American corporation; to me, this is the corporation’s way of saying that my pet’s life isn’t important, my money is. I have been taking my cats to this hospital for fifteen years. Tungsten went there. My foster-cats go to a different hospital, since their health-care is under the rescue-group to which I belong. Only Renn remains a patient of the subject hospital, but I doubt that I will be taking him there again.


  1. That is outrageous. I have not heard of that here in this Country. I have not heard of it at all. If such happens here, they will only have one cat a month in their practice. I can't see ANYONE taking their family members to that type of situation. They will learn that we won't stand for that and we will go elsewhere. .

    1. Since VCA operates a thousand animal hospitals, and most of them are in the U.S., I expect the same policy will apply there, too; soon, if not now. The worst hit will be rural districts, which have fewer options in terms of animal hospitals.

    2. Now you told us the name of the corporation, I googled it and holy MOLEY! YUK!

  2. No way! I'd be an ex-patient of that place in a New York minute!

  3. I agree with Katie Isabella, that is so shortsighted and uncaring. That would require a legislative and regulatory change in our State because of licensing restrictions and medication prescribing, it wouldn't be something a Vet practice could just do. Those of us in the U.S. need to proactively contact our legislators now. I sure wouldn't go to that practice.

  4. Well, that *is* exciting news. Of course, so are announcements that a tsunami is on the way.

    This is insane. A really good vet is a rare enough thing (at least, in my area,) and now they won't even initially provide any vet at all?! Thank you for the warning. Now we all know to check if our local vet clinics show the same lack of concern for our pet's well-being.

  5. Good heavens! Outrageous is an understatement. VCA owns the second vet clinic I've been taking Derry to, so I imagine that it will be the same here. I guess I will be trying to get Derry an appointment at our regular clinic for most things, though that is challenging in itself.

    I'm really sorry to read this, John. You're right, it's all about the money, no regard for the animals' welfare. 😕

  6. That is awful news. I know there is a vet shortage, but that is not the way to fix it.

  7. That may just lead to the demise of our pets if uneducated peeps unwittingly take their fur children to such places and don't know that unlicensed techs are performing care/evaluations that should be only done by vets. What were they thinking. Sheesh:(
    Maybe if a pet family realizes the 'care' they are getting is sub par or worse, a lawsuit may be in order.